Saint Mark Daily Advent Devotional – December 7, 2014

by Audra Dial

Scripture: Isaiah 40: 1-11; Psalm 85 1-2, 8-13; 2 Peter 3:8-15a; Mark 1:1-8

Anticipation.  Waiting (nervously at times).  Looking forward.  Making a way for something new.  Preparing.

Preparation is the theme for this week in Advent, and all four scripture passages speak to that theme.  Isaiah speaks of anticipation: a voice in the wilderness “calling ‘In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.'”  The Psalmist comforts our nervousness as we wait:  “The Lord will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest.  Righteousness goes before him and prepares the way for his steps.”  Peter counsels us to look forward as we prepare: “What kind of people ought you to be?  You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.”  And Mark uses John the Baptist to remind us to make way for something new:  “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.  I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

A variety of emotions flood my mind when I hear “preparation”-excitement, fear, energy, strength, reflection, confidence, peace and thanksgiving.  What do you think of?  What fears do you face?

As we await the Christ child’s birth, I think of daily preparations, whether we anticipate a new job, a relationship, or even a new life.  The preparations are physical (readying things, planning, packing, shopping, studying) and mental (contemplation, prayer, meditation, visualization).  These activities help us to be ready for that which is to come.

During this time of Advent as we physically prepare for Christmas, let us also make time for mental preparation. Let us spend time in contemplation and reflection of where we are in our relationship with Christ and where we would like to be.

Prayer:  Dear Lord, please give us the strength, courage and excitement to embrace your love more deeply and to be open to receive all the blessings you have in store for our lives.  Thank you for helping us to prepare our lives to welcome your son. Amen.

Saint Mark United Methodist Church

 

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